It's mental_floss fashion week!

OMG OMG OMG it's Paris Fashion Week! And while we wouldn't dream of attempting to actually cover all the runway fabulousness ( will inevitably beat us to it), we did want to celebrate it in our own geeky way -- by delving into fashion history. We'll be talking about the stuff all week, but today, we'd simply like to direct you to the ever-so-chic Vintage Vixen, where you can learn about fashion by decade, starting in the 1900s (and then buy accordingly). Air kisses!

A Very Brief History of Chamber Pots

Some of the oldest chamber pots found by archeologists have been discovered in ancient Greece, but portable toilets have come a long way since then. Whether referred to as "the Jordan" (possibly a reference to the river), "Oliver's Skull" (maybe a nod to Oliver Cromwell's perambulating cranium), or "the Looking Glass" (because doctors would examine urine for diagnosis), they were an essential fact of life in houses and on the road for centuries. In this video from the Wellcome Collection, Visitor Experience Assistant Rob Bidder discusses two 19th century chamber pots in the museum while offering a brief survey of the use of chamber pots in Britain (including why they were particularly useful in wartime).

A Tour of the New York Academy of Medicine's Rare Book Room

The Rare Book Room at the New York Academy of Medicine documents the evolution of our medical knowledge. Its books and artifacts are as bizarre as they are fascinating. Read more here.


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